Website Design & Logo Updates!

If you’ve been on the Spine recently, you may have noticed that things are very different now in terms of design. The Spine has has a pretty major face lift. I received some advice from a designer friend of mine, Kelly Rauwerdink, on The Spine of the Empire’s website design, mostly focused on the home page. There was a lot to take in and a lot to improve.

The Major Design Changes

The home page, save some copy, was gutted and redone. Change highlights:

The changes didn’t stop with the home page. Some other notable changes:

Not only was the website design tweaked, I made a proper logo! The old triangle logo was, well, old, and not that good. I never liked it that much.

Old Spine Icon
Old Spine Icon

It didn’t convey the Spine to me. It was pretty much a placeholder that overstayed its welcome. With this desire to update the website to make it more enticing, I knew I had to replace it with something better. I wanted a logo that was The Spine itself and fit narratively and aesthetically into the website.

So I took to sketching out some ideas.

I started with keeping to the old triangle structure and just updating it to add more intrigue. A remix. It ended up feeling more Empirian than of the Spine. I kept going, playing with shapes. I wanted to incorporate lightning or electricity motifs since that’s the origin of the Spine. Which led me to a shape that is actually reminiscent of ‘The Tree’ character in Tyra Tarkush, which is even more apt since ‘The Tree’ is of knowledge. It felt so apt for the Spine to be like a techno-inspired ‘The Tree’.

Once that idea was locked in, I made a digital version with Sketchbook. But it was not a SVG. My designer friend instructed me how to use Figma to make a proper SVG of it. With that knowledge, I made a transparent white version and a black version on white background, depending on the context. Plus one with the site title, which you can see in the nav!

Spine Icon
New Spine Icon

It looks so slick. I really like it. It fits in-universe and on the site. It does truly feel like the Spine’s icon.

Ending Thoughts

All together, these updates have made it so the site is far more effective at communicating my message and work. I feel so much more confident in it.

I am mulling over a few more updates, specifically whether to tweak the blog/page headers and to use the slideshow component in other areas. I may raise a Patreon poll or two about it.

But in the meantime: meet the new Spine!

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